Shed Buying Guide 2023 - From Buying to Building
Whether you need a new man-cave to make your own private space, a place to store your ever-growing number of treasures, or looking for a new hobby shop or home office– a shed is definitely a wise investment in expanding your property. The problem is, it's often difficult to even start and find the right choice.
With so many options, vendors, designs, customization options, building a shed can be quite overwhelming and one can easily find oneself paralyzed by analyzing too much.
We, at Homestead Supplier, fully understand what that’s like– that’s why we compiled a step-by-step guide on how to find the perfect shed and make that into reality. We go over everything from selecting the right shed to getting it built- we’ll cover all of the bases!
The first step is to focus on the aesthetic, the final look, and how you want it to appear and the rest will follow. Visualize your property and envision the perfect design for the shed to accompany that. Imagine walking into your property for the first time from the eyes of an outsider. What would like to see first from the get-go? What will the roof look like? Where are the doors and windows placed? Did you see it?
Great! Getting a pre-made shed is one way to go but you have no control of your final look and usually quality is a big iffy variable. Secondly, although fun, building your own shed from scratch can and will be quite the nightmare if you’re not prepared. That’s why getting a prefabricated kit (see below) mixes the best of both worlds by balancing creativity and flexibility with practicality and quality.
Browse around our shed collection page or our brands and look through our galleries until you lock in the perfect image of what your shed will be like. We have dozens of designs and surely you will find the one that’s perfect for you.
Each and every state has its own zoning and weather-compliance laws. So it's a definite necessity to get that out of the way before you start. Luckily, our expert foremen have already accounted for this on your behalf and have made sturdy, weather-resistant sheds that are made to withstand the harshest weather conditions.
Live in a particularly windy city like Chicago or a hurricane-prone state like Florida? Our EZ-fit Sheds have an optional wind kit to increase the wind resistance up to an outstanding 140 mph that will surely comply with the strictest regulations.
Contact your Homeowners Association to see if they’re especially finicky if your shed’s roof will need to match your neighborhood. They usually ask for a copy of the schematics or a sketch of the shed which we will gladly send you a copy of it ahead of time so you can get approved.
- Know the Materials
A lot of our sheds use OSB, also known as Oriental Strand Board. This is done so that we can offer a much better quality than regular plywood. We care deeply about the quality of the buildings we sell you, so we wanted to highlight some of the features and benefits of Oriental Strand Boards!
What are Oriental Strand Boards (OSB)?
Oriental strand boards look like plywood, feel like plywood, but is so much sturdier and longer-lasting. Why is this so? This is because whereas plywood is made from laminating veneer off logs (kind of like the shaving off when you sharpen a pencil), OSB is made intentionally with wood ground into wood strands and then mixed with wax and adhesive and then hot pressed. This makes over 50 layers of strands in any given board of OSB.
This means that you get a lot more advantages from OSB versus standard plywood. Like what, you may ask?
- OSB has fantastic moisture-proof qualities! They are much less susceptible to warping and separation, which is a common problem of plywood.
- OSB is more "square" this gives the wood a much better build flexibility and dimensional tolerance.
- OSB has no soft spots. The hot pressing treatment makes OSB a much better rounded option as the entire board is treated evenly and thus minimizing weak, soft spots.
- OSB is simply stronger. All the important factors for durability such as span rating, nail pulls, screw and holds -- OSB beats plywood in sheer strength.
We hope we made it a bit clearer as to why we use OSB plywood for some of our shed's roofing and floor kits. This is because we do not settle for anything less than the best!
Cedarshed Ranchhouse with OSB Roof Option
We have recently offered an alternative roof option for our Cedarshed Collection. This cost-effective roofing option substitutes the standard cedar roof shingles with sturdy, OSB that are ready to be shingled with whatever design of shingles that you desire. Selecting this option provides a budget-friendly alternative with no reduced quality.
Figuring out whether or not you’ll assemble it yourself or hire a contractor or handyman is a decision you’ll also have to make. We’ll highlight some of the Pros and Cons for you so you can get a quick snapshot of what’s in store:
PROS for Pros
Fun - You and your friends can make this a weekend thing over some cold ones.
You have an expert - Have questions on the zoning permits? Any technicalities you’re anxious about? Run it by your man and see if he’s the right fit for the job.
Beginner Friendly - Our sheds are all pre-cut which means that it's really a matter of putting together an oversized LEGO house. We have plenty of guides and videos for you and as long as you have a guy that can use a hammer, and another one to hold it in place, you’re already 80% there.
The odds and ends - You won’t have to worry about whether or not this piece goes here or there– Pros know what they’re doing and will figure that for you.
Save $$$ - Rolling up your sleeves and getting it done yourself would cost you exactly zero dollars. Unless you factor in the refreshments and the post-job massage.
Sit back and Relax - Just have them show up on the day it's set to be delivered, have them unload the shed from the trailer (if you agreed on it beforehand), sip on some lemonade, and wait for your shed to be completed.
CONS for Pros
The other fittings - You still have other things such as shingles, paint, finishes that you might need depending on the kit you buy. Although there’s always a DIY video on Youtube for that, you might end up taking in a little bit more than you can handle.
It could get real pricey real fast. - Always agree upon the job ahead of time and set the right expectations.
You might not know what you’re doing - Despite all the Youtube tutorials and the countless hours looking at the manual, you may have accidentally placed a panel in the wrong place. Luckily, a lot of this is reversible and can be avoided completely with some careful planning.
You might get overcharged - Bad Contractors and Handymen have a knack of ripping off somebody they think is a sucker. For this, always do your homework ahead of time, do your research on the person’s track record and previous work experience.
Our personal suggestion is to go to the middle of the line and build the basic shed yourself to save costs as there are plenty of resources available to help you step-by-step.
If you do plan on outfitting your shed with fixtures such as plumbing, tile work, and electrical, then having a handyman to do this for you would be a great option if you feel you can’t do this yourself. We recommend booking through sites such as handy.com or Yelp! but sourcing a local handyman to discuss it in person is also a very good choice.
Once you’ve had all the prep work done, now it's time to finally make that dream a reality. Head over to the listing for the perfect shed of your choice and select the dimensions you like including any add-ons. If you have a basic request such as having the door placed on the opposite side of the shed, or any special delivery considerations for our freight team, then simply just include that on the notes so we can notify our production team.
If you still have some lingering questions, customization that’s not included in the add-on options, or something out of the ordinary – worry not. You can simply email us at email@example.com or call us at 1-800-540-9051 and one of our shed specialists will be more than happy to help. Depending on the job, we can either do it free of charge or we can have a quote put together sent to you via email.
Site preparation- Leveling the ground is key. Whether or not you choose to accomplish this with regular gravel, cinder blocks, or building an all-out concrete slab, check your ground and lay the foundation you like based on the conditions of your soil.
- The base should be twelve inches larger than your shed on all four sides.
- Remove three to four inches of sod
- Fill the gap with limestone. We recommend No. 8 or No. 57.
- Level the entire limestone area.
FOR SLOPED GROUND
- Place treated 4 x 4s crossways within the shed footprint approximately every six feet.
- Dig treated 4 x4 s into the ground on the high side.
- Place concrete blocks under the treated 4 x 4s on the low side (if needed).
Clear your construction area. Remove all debris, roots, grass, gunk, crud, and other funky stuff that can get in your way. Make sure that there’s nothing that would get in the way of any doors opening and adequate drainage is accounted for when it rains.
Expect a lot of rain and ordering an EZ fit shed kit? Pick up the pressure-treated bottom plate option to make sure no rainwater gets inside the inside of the shed. Better yet, elevate your shed with some runners and joists.
Since most sheds are built to order, there usually are several weeks leading up to the day of the delivery, so this is the time to get that done. There are plenty of videos on Youtube that you can use as a resource such as this one:
For certain brands such as EZ-fit, shingles do not come with the kit, this is because a lot of our customers end up using their own shingles to match their homes and such.
You can refer to this chart above for the square footage of each size shed. You can then go to your local home improvement store and they can calculate the exact amount of shingles you need based on the square footage.
So now you’ve made it for the big day. The trailer company has called you and scheduled delivery date. What should you be expecting?
The kits always come in large pallets, sometimes even two. Depending on the terminal responsible for the last leg of delivery, there may or may not be a liftgate and pallet jack to unload the pallet for you. In a perfect world, freight companies would haul this large, gigantic wooden package to exactly where you want it, but we work with dozens of shippers and those shippers subcontract dozens of other shippers too so we can’t ensure consistency in this regard.
So for this, you must make sure that you have one or two people helping you out to manually unload the pieces from the trailer, if liftgate delivery is not available. It may sound very tedious, but the actual pieces once unloaded one by one would only weigh a maximum of 80 lbs so it’s manageable, relatively speaking.
This process takes around 15 minutes or less depending on the size of the shed you order.
Once everything is unloaded and unpacked, make sure you check all the parts to see if there’s anything missing or damaged during the transit. This is very rare and does not happen frequently, but in the off chance that it does, it’s important to let us know right away. We will make sure we will make it right by replacing any defective parts.
Now that you have everything accounted for, now is the time to finally put it all together! Consult the manuals and check out the videos on the listings as a reference.
If at any point in time you find yourself in a bind with the build, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll gladly help.
Below are some photos our very own customers had submitted when they designed their sheds!
You can also even spruce up your interior with some plumbing, electric and furnishings!
At this point -- you can finally relish on the fact that you finally have your shed built and read to go! From concept, concrete to complete-- your shed will surely last you for years even decades if you take care of it!
Make sure to give it a new coat of paint once every 5 years or so, make sure you account for all flammable things in and around your shed, and keep your shed pest free by decluttering and ensuring that there is no still and stagnant water.
You can check out our Brand Warranty page and see that were with you not only after you purchase your shed but well beyond that. If you got a Cedarshed, make sure you check out our guide on How To Make Your Cedarshed Last for Years.
We're committed to bringing you the best kits in the industry with the best customer service as well. Do you have any questions or anything you'd like to share? We'd love to hear you out-- email us firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with one of our Homestead Specialists!